Dalmatians are not nearly as high maintenance as some other breeds but there are some things that owners must be aware of when they adopt one of these adorable dogs. Special concerns about diet and common health problems make it important that you be armed with information about the best ways to care for your pet.
The food you choose to offer your Dalmatian is probably the single most important aspect of his care. The urinary tracts of these dogs are much like those of a human in that they have difficulty processing certain types of protein. Getting too much of this protein, which is found in beef and organ meats, can result in kidney stones which can become life threatening if left untreated. Most owners prefer to feed their dogs specially formulated lamb or chicken based foods to prevent this problem. It is best to ask your veterinarian to recommend which food to offer your Dalmatian so that you will be certain you are making the right choice.
Dalmatians don't do well in cold weather so the best shelter for them is inside your home. Their coat is very short and doesn't offer too much in the way of protection from the elements. If your dog is going to be outside for an extended period of time you might even consider a doggie sweater to help keep him warm.
If your dog absolutely has to live outdoors you will need to provide a sturdy dog house which will keep him from getting wet and will protect him from the wind. It's also a good idea to provide a heat source to use during winter weather. You can buy dog houses with a heat source already in place or you can build one yourself by placing a light bulb inside a box and inside a wire basket. The bulb should be painted black so that it won't irritate your dog's eyes and you should check it often to prevent fire dangers.
Exercise and Grooming
Your Dalmatian will need plenty of opportunity to exercise on a daily basis. A retractable lead is ideal for walks because these dogs are usually bundles of energy and you will find yourself being pulled along against your will if you attempt to use a short leash. Remember, regular exercise will make for a much more well behaved dog so make it a daily priority.
Although the coat of a Dalmatian doesn't require a lot of washing, conditioning, and blow drying, it will require a lot of brushing if you don't want to be swimming in dog hair. Luckily the hair is fairly easy to remove, but daily brushing will help keep it under control.
Dalmatians make wonderful pets that aren't really difficult to care for if you keep their special needs in mind. If you provide the right foods, plenty of exercise, and regular grooming you will have a healthy dog who will keep you company for many years to come.